How to protect your eyes on the beach this Summer


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With many of us heading to the beach this summer, it is important to make sure that we take all the right measures to protect our health, and particularly our eyes. Let’s see how to protect your eyes on the beach this summer.

With COVID changing the way we think of hygiene and personal interactions, it is important to pay attention to eye hygiene and how we can best protect our vision when spending time on the beach over the summer period.

Roshni Patel BSc (Hons) MCOptom, Professional Services Manager at Lenstore shares a few tips on how to protect your eyes whilst tanning by the coast this summer

1. Use sunglasses

Other than a fashion accessory, sunglasses are first designed to protect our eyes from UV rays, which can pose a threat to people’s vision. UV rays could pass through your eyes into the retina and cause a host of health and eye issues such as cataracts.

However, it is important to be aware that not all sunglasses offer UV protection. In fact, certain sunglasses sold in tourist areas are just tinted lenses and may not offer protection against UV rays at all.

Choosing to purchase sunglasses with 100% protection is always the best choice. However, it’s important to discuss with your optician the best options for you.

Not only do sunglasses help us see a bit better, without feeling the need to squint our eyes and hide in the shade, but they can also be extremely protective for our eye health.

Wearing sunglasses on a regular basis, especially when overexposed to the sunlight, can also help prevent the skin and tissues around your eyes from getting damaged by ultraviolet light.

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2. Wear goggles in the water

Even though it might be fun to keep your eyes open underwater, exposing the eye to seawater can also be risky, potentially causing irritation in the eye, which could lead to dryness issues.

In addition, keeping your eyes open underwater can lead to bacterial infections due to water-borne pathogens such as Acanthamoeba keratitis, particularly common in contact lens wearers. This infection manifests in symptoms such as eye redness, eye pain, excessive tearing and could potentially lead to severe consequences including sight loss.

Another less severe potential effect of swimming with your eyes open is dry eye. Dry eye is a condition that can manifest with symptoms such as itchy, watery and sore eyes, as well as eye redness and blurry vision. Wearing goggles whilst swimming helps prevent this condition from occurring.

3. Avoid wearing contact lenses on the beach 

When sunbathing or swimming it is important to remove your contact lenses. Contact lenses generally require good hygiene, and with seawater being filled with protozoa and bacteria, it can be dangerous for your vision keeping your contact lenses in. In fact, when water goes in the eye, the contact lens will absorb the water and create an environment where bacteria and germs can grow and multiply.

Whilst certain types of contact lenses can’t be worn at all in the water, if used when swimming, it is suggested to use disposable contact lenses to throw away after use if you do decide to wear some. However, wearing goggles is still the best option to avoid contact with water.

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Finally, it is recommended to remove contact lenses before tanning as this might cause sensitive eyes, because of the eyes drying out because of the sun.

Roshni Patel adds:

‘’When going to the seaside, taking care of ourselves is extremely important not only for our eye health but our overall health as well. The sun, the sea water and the sand can all pose risks to our vision.’’

‘’When relaxing on the beach, it is important to avoid touching the eyes too much as sand tends to stick to our body and our hands easily. Rubbing your eyes with sand can potentially lead to severe irritations. In fact, when grains of sand infiltrate the eye, they can potentially scratch the cornea. This is called corneal abrasion; it is not permanent and can last up to three days.  However, this condition can be painful, cause vision obstruction and increase the risk of infection.

For these reasons, rinsing off your hands on a regular basis can prevent this from happening and boost general health and hygiene. If you experience any problems, it is also important to consult your optometrist or GP’’

If you are looking for, contact lenses to wear this Summer visit



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